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FSSAI Labelling Regulations For The Declaration of Use of Food Additives
A label is a vital part of the food package that provides information about the product to prospective customers such as the ingredients, nutrition facts, and additives used. Although food additives do not increase the nutritional value of the food product, the regulation of their quality and specifications on the label is necessary to maintain the quality of the final food product. In the interest of consumer awareness, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) specifies the labelling regulations for the declaration of additives in a food product, before it is placed in the market.
FSSAI Regulations for the Declaration of Use of Food Additives
As per the FSS (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, For food additives that are permitted to be used in the manufacture of food, the labels should indicate the class titles along with their specific names or internationally recognised numerical identification. Following are some of the class titles for food additives listed by the FSSAI: Acidity regulator, Flavour enhancer, Bulking agent, Anti-foaming agent, Anti-caking agent, Foaming agent, Propellant, Preservative, Thickener, Stabiliser, Sweetener etc.
Declaration of colouring agents and flavouring agents in a product
- Declaration for addition of colouring agents
Any addition of colouring agent has to be stated on the label. One of the following statements, as applicable, shall be mentioned in uppercase, just below the list of ingredients:
CONTAINS PERMITTED NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC FOOD COLOUR(S) or
CONTAINS PERMITTED SYNTHETIC FOOD COLOUR(S) or
CONTAINS PERMITTED NATURAL COLOUR(S)
Provided that where such a statement is displayed along with the name or INS no of the food colour, the colour used in the product need not be mentioned in the list of ingredients.
- Declaration for addition of flavouring agents
Similar to colouring agents, the addition of any flavouring agent in the food product shall be stated on the label. The following statement in capital letters, shall be mentioned just below the list of ingredients:
“CONTAINS ADDED FLAVOUR(S) (Specify type of flavouring agent as per Regulation 3.1.10(1) of Food Safety and Standards (Food product standards and food additive) Regulation, 2011)”
- When the food product contains both flavours and colours, applicable details of both shall be combined and mentioned just below the list of ingredients in capital letters, as one of the following:
CONTAINS PERMITTED NATURAL COLOUR(S) AND ADDED FLAVOURS or
CONTAINS PERMITTED SYNTHETIC FOOD COLOUR(S) AND ADDED FLAVOURS or
CONTAINS PERMITTED NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC FOOD COLOUR(S) AND ADDED FLAVOURS
In case of artificial flavouring agents, the labels should indicate the common name of the flavour, but when natural flavouring agents are added, the class names of the flavours should be mentioned on the label as per the declaration provided by FSSAI.
- Declaration for addition of artificial sweeteners
The addition of any permitted artificial sweeteners in the food product must be stated on the label. The following statements shall be declared on the packages of food that are permitted to contain artificial sweetening agents:
- This contains (name of the artificial sweetener)
- Not recommended for children
- Quantity of sugar added (gm/100 gm) OR
- No sugar added in the product
- Not for phenylketonurics (If aspartame is added to the product)
The following statement in capital letters should be mentioned just below the list of ingredients:
CONTAINS ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER AND FOR CALORIE CONSCIOUS
Every package of artificial sweetener like aspartame (methyl ester), sucralose, and saccharin sodium, acesulfame K, neotame, which is marketed as table top sweetener must carry the following details on their label:
- Contains (name of artificial sweetener)
- Not recommended for children
- Not for phenylketonurics (only on labels of aspartame package)
The regulations for labelling of additives have specified formats and sizes for all the statements and declarations in detail. Understanding these detailed regulations is not simple and the food industries must take regulatory guidance from the experts. Compliance to the FSSAI regulations is mandatory for all Food Business Operators to ensure safety of consumers.
References: Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Chapter 2: Labelling (Pg. 35, 36, 43, 48) – https://www.fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:2d48f646-d9f9-4bc1-af03-493f29cc45a9/Packaging_Labelling_Regulations.pdf